The NADS group, Down Syndrome and More, serves families whose child with Down syndrome has an additional diagnosis, such as Autism or ADHD. The More Than Down Syndrome Retreat is offered twice a year.  During the Retreat, parents learn from experts and share with each other while their child with a dual diagnosis engages in fun activities and is cared for by trained respite workers.  For more information about this program, please contact NADS.

Many of the resources the members of this group have gathered over the years are collected below.

For more information about Down syndrome and Autism, including signs and symptoms, obtaining an evaluation for autism, and related behaviors, see the dual-diagnosis section on the website of the National Down Syndrome Society.


Dual Diagnosis

Since 1998, NADS has provided a special service for families whose child with Down syndrome has an additional diagnosis, such as autism or ADHD.  This NADS group is called Down Syndrome and More. It is often difficult for families of children with a dual diagnosis to network with local support groups. Families dealing with a dual diagnosis often feel like they don’t fit in at the local Down syndrome support group. At the same time they don’t fit in at the local autism support group either. The daily struggles are unique, leaving many families feeling isolated.

The NADS group, Down Syndrome and More, is a place for families to discuss unique challenges and added stress, share resources, teaching strategies, and medical information, focusing on possible solutions along with humorous stories in a safe, non-judgmental environment. NADS offers a More Than Down Syndrome Retreat twice a year. At the Retreat, children are cared for by trained respite workers.  NADS ensures a minimum 1:1 ratio at minimum for maximum safety. Children spend time engaged in fun activities such as swimming, play and music therapy.  We offer this retreat for families who are under a great deal of stress to share and address issues of concern to them. During the retreat, experienced professionals tackle those issues and give practical strategies for coping with the communication and behavioral challenges of their child.

retreat_2The Retreat is held twice a year, accommodating a small group of NADS families. If you are a NADS member and your child with Down syndrome has been diagnosed with autism or ADHD, please contact NADS for more information about Down Syndrome and More.  

For more information about Down Syndrome and autism, please see our Down Syndrome and More resources page.

“The More than Down Syndrome Retreat is fuel for my year. We share our joys, frustrations and uncertainties together. I am reminded that we are not alone in our struggles with raising Kenny and a dual diagnosis. We have learned so much with the support and education at the retreats since Kenny’s diagnosis of autism over 11 years ago.”Shelly C.

Autism Training/Support/ABA

Advocacy and Legal Support

  • Robert Farley – Special Needs Attorney/Guardianship: (630) 369-0103
  • Rubin Law – Special Needs attorney who has a son with autism: (847) 279-7999
  • – Special Needs Trusts (Joe Monohan)/ School Advocacy (Matt Cohen)
  • Wood Family Law – Jennifer Wood in Plainfield: (815) 704-3500
  • Family Benefit Solutions, Sheri Schneider:
  • Law Offices of Rose & Malone in Sycamore: (815) 756-2000 |
  • The Estate Planning Group in Wheaton, IL: (630) 871-8778
  • – Free Estate Planning Guide
    Estate planning McManus Consulting (847) 256-0456 |
    Developmental Disability Consultant
  • Catherine Whitcher – Special Needs Advocate: (815) 302-1273
  • Spain, Spain, and Varnet P.C. (SSV Legal) – Attorney, wills and trusts: (312) 220-9112
  • – Advocacy for parents
  • – Advocacy site for parents and teachers


    Adult Down Syndrome Center in Park Ridge, IL | Dr. Brian Chicoine | (847) 318-2303
    Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry (630) 541-8930
    Dr. Lance David Reinke, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Psychologist in Winfield
    Dr. Thomas Owley, Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist and Dr. Berry Kravitz, Neurologist
    Dr. Jaurdo, Special needs dentistry 1-800-543-7362
    Dr. Nina Cordell in Schaumburg, 847-882-3360
    Dr. Tom Donohue, Pediatric Dentistry (630) 961-0996 Dr. Henry (Dentist) and Dr. Susan Lyons (ENT) no contact information available
    Dr. David Jones (Dentist-Naperville) (630) 527-8686
    Dr. Lance Skinskys (Dentist- Plainfield) (815) 577-0700
    Dr. Stephen Heaney, (Dentist-Orland Park) (708) 361- 9199
  • Dr. Stephen Henry (Dentist-Orland Park) (708) 403-3393
  • Dr. Susan Lyon (ENT-Palos Heights) (708) 361-9199
  • Dr. Peter Smith Developmental Pediatrics U of C (773) 702-0660
  • Children’s at Westchester Medical and Surgical Team (312) 227-7900

Occupational, Speech and Physical Therapists and Clinics

  • Sovereign Pediatric Therapy – Naperville (630) 585-7337
  • Katie Bug Therapy – Naperville (630) 904-0700
  • Rainbow Pediatric Therapy Place – Aurora (630) 898-2200
    Lenise McGregor, OT-Naperville (630) 305-4196

Recreation, Leisure, Retail

Toileting and Personal Self-Care

Tech Support, Evaluations, Programs and Equipment

Safety and Wandering Prevention

  • Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response Education has a comprehensive list of tips, materials and tools.
  • Medical Alert Foundation – Medical ID bracelets
  • Project Livesaver International – Tracking system located in various cities
  • Care Trak International – GPS Tracking bracelets connected to participating police departments
  • SafetyNet Tracking – GPS tracking device for wrist or ankles
    Illinois Premise Alert 430ILCS132(PA-96-0788) now required in all Illinois police departments. Contact Dwayne English, Joliet PD for more information at 815-341-9025
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